Directed by James Mangold
Written by Mark Bomback & Scott Frank (screenplay)
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima
Summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, Wolverine becomes embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.
What? I guess the title “Political & Familial Infighting in Japan Featuring: Wolverine” looked terrible on a movie poster. Unfortunately that was all the film was, a disjointed and confused action film that seemed to make the stars and audience scratch their collective heads in uncertainty. After saving a Japanese solider from the historic nuke in Hiroshima, Logan is eventually summoned to the bedside of the dying man who offers a trade. He knows Logan is tired of life, wracked with guilt and longing, so he offers the one thing The Wolverine doesn’t have – death. In retrospect, this film runs like a terrible, terrible version of Superman 2. Death would have been a mercy killing, I assure you.
When we meet the current version of Logan, he’s a hermit/drifter sort who worries about things like hunters incorrectly putting bears out of their misery. Of course, every hero that isolated him or herself, will eventually have a hero or anti-hero come looking, and they always have an offer. Logan should have refused and continued his life of forest conservation. It really would have made for a better film. “Poachers?! Not in my forest!” SNIKT!
Jean is back in the form of Wolverine’s dreams – not even his dreams have chemistry – just misery. Hell, I’ve been Homer Simpson, The Tick, and even made out with Olivia Munn in my dreams. So, hey, Bub, your dreams suck. Someone turn on Gary Jules version of Mad World. Sure, Logan is guilty he had to kill her, but that’s a risk all costumed super heroes should be used to. Someone ALWAYS becomes too small to contain their crazy mutant powers. SNIKT. Problem solved. Even in the guy’s dreams, he has no chemistry with the returning Famke Janssen.
More failures: The Wolverine successfully morphed one of his great loves, the cute-haired, Yukio (Rila Fukushima), to nothing but a courier. I liked her hard ass with a heart of gold portrayal and all, but come on. They avoided one of the few things that would have improved this film greatly: the potential origin of Lady Deathstrike, a villain that truly gives Logan repeated runs for his money. The icing on the cake was turning Silver Samurai into a fucking mech warrior with a built-in life support, aka Doc Ock style in the days before The Superior Spider-Man hit the shelves. Booo. (not Booo-Urns!)
In a nutshell, this movie got nothing right. If you screw up a rainy night in Japan, our hero shirtless and ripped, claws extended, waiting for the first ninja or Yakuza to strike; if you can’t get action down in The Wolverine, good luck getting the rest to fall in place. In the end, The Wolverine is a poorly paced, disjointed addition to Marvel’s string of recently good comic films. Jackman is The Wolverine, he was born for it, sadly the most interesting scene of the film takes place after the credits. I’ll let you use your imagination for that one. If you still want to see this out of morbid curiosity, wait for the Blu Ray and at least avoid the public.
The Viper? Wtf? Way to pull from the best C-List characters possible.
Dear writers and directors, learn your character’s rich histories before you decimate them on-screen. Final Fister Score: D+.
(The + is for keeping it under 2.5 hours)